There’s nothing more disruptive to a business than customer churn. Companies worldwide are losing billions of dollars annually from dissatisfied customers moving to a competitor. However, the customer satisfaction survey has emerged as an effective tool designed to give the marketing and sales enablement teams insight into customer motivations.
Customer feedback reveals vital clues into the customer experience (CX). This feedback provides compelling data, thus enabling the company to:
- Construct touchpoints that resonate with customers
- Convincingly address those that turn them off
Analyzing the information gleaned from the customer satisfaction survey is essential, considering that a single defective touchpoint – like an impatient client support agent, for example – can derail the entire customer journey.
So, in summary, customer satisfaction is an indispensable consideration for large enterprises and small-to-medium businesses alike, and deployment of a customer satisfaction survey drives customer retention.
Your company’s success aligns closely with how satisfied customers are with your products and services. The customer satisfaction survey is crucial to know the depth of a customer’s loyalty, or, indeed, if there any depth at all. To make this easier to understand, here are the four stages of customer satisfaction.
Stage one: Meet customer expectations
This is a minimum requirement to give yourself a fighting chance for gaining customer loyalty. However, it’s far from a slam dunk. “Meeting expectations” simply indicates that there are no negatives. A customer satisfaction survey will inevitably suggest that customers in this category are generally new to the brand, trying it out for the first time. There’s still a long way to go, and any missteps (even small ones) could chase the customer away forever.
Stage two: Surpass customer expectations
A customer satisfaction survey should tell you when your brand is exceeding expectations. Your customer has moved beyond the product/service and identifies with the culture and ethos behind the company. It may arise from friendlier customer service, providing out-of-the-box solutions, or consistent feedback to the customer. Perhaps it boils down to how you say things versus what you have to say. You’ll know that your customers are in this category when repeat purchases are registering in your sales data.
Stage three: Delight your customers
This is when you take things up a notch by making your customer feel genuinely unique. You reach this level by connecting emotionally with the customer through your communications, brand visualization, and behavioral focus. It’s the beginning stage of customer loyalty and the start of building trust that creates protection around the brand that even aggressive, invasive promotions from competitors can’t break.
The right questions in a customer satisfaction survey will provide vital information about a closer affinity to the brand. For example, delighted customers are usually ready to pay more and less inclined to accept alternatives – even if the latter has a compelling story. Instead, they respond to empathy and personalization, messages that go directly to their innermost feelings.
Marketers who understand their customers intimately can engage them in ways that make a difference. That’s why customer journey analysis is fundamental and understanding CX inside and out is the key to the final stage.
Stage four: Amaze your customers
This is the ultimate in customer engagement. At this stage, customers buy the latest in whatever the brand introduces. There’s very little the company can do wrong in the customer’s eyes, even though, in reality, the company may be dropping the ball.
- Customers show readiness to pay more for the same thing – anything to be aligned with the brand.
- These are high revenue buyers with a low promotional expense to maintain and keep engaged.
- When this data is reflected in a customer satisfaction survey, it’s time to celebrate.
- That said, take nothing for granted. We live in volatile times, and even this type of customer may look elsewhere if you make severe errors.
How to measure customer satisfaction
While the customer satisfaction survey is the ideal vehicle for customer feedback, the question is, how do you evaluate the level of satisfaction once you have the data? Look for the customer satisfaction (CSAT) score.
You get a CSAT score by asking respondents to answer multiple-choice questions, rating questions, or open-ended questions, separately or in combination with one another. CSAT measurement tools are designed to help assess how committed your customers are, or conversely, how disengaged.
Another great metric tracked through a customer satisfaction survey is the Net Promoter Score (NPS), which goes straight to loyalty with a single question.
Customer satisfaction survey examples
Here are just two NPS questions focusing on “loyalty.”
- “Based on your overall experience, how likely are you to recommend us to your friends and peers?”
- “How likely are you to recommend our brand to your friends and family?”
While standard NPS questions use a 0-10 scale, a simplified rating scale might include:
- 1 (Very Unlikely), 2 (Unlikely), 3 (Neutral), 4 (Likely), 5 (Very Likely)
- After collating all the responses, count the number of satisfied customers (those who rated the organization/brand 4 or 5) divided by the total number of responses.
- For example, if 60 of your 100 responses have a rating of 4 or 5, your score would be 60.
- From there, ask yourself, What was the score on the last CSAT? If it was 48, that’s a 25 percent improvement. If less than 48, it signifies a drop in customer satisfaction.
A combination example using rating and open-ended options together works like this: The following two questions create considerable insight into behavioral patterns:
Question 1: How do you rate your overall satisfaction with Brand Y?
- Very dissatisfied
- No opinion one way or another
- Very satisfied
Question 2: Why did you answer Question 1 the way you did?
You can rate these on the same scale as the example above.
- Most respondents on the “Very satisfied/Satisfied” scale indicate that stages three and four (“Delight” and “Amaze”) are alive and well in your business.
- Conversely, overwhelming responses at the dissatisfied part of the scale show you’re not even meeting expectations.
- The open-ended feedback should provide substantial insights into customers’ motivations behind the ratings.
Customer satisfaction benefits come to those marketers who understand the dynamics of the customer experience. Your customer loyalty depends on it.
Customer satisfaction surveys are powerful tools providing key insights that lead to sustained profitability. If you want to improve your customer satisfaction, check out Sogolytics’s template bank, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions or would like a free demo.